IRS Scam with a Twist. The IRS scam is alive and well. The IRS has issued a warning to taxpayers about a new twist to this long, lasting scam. It has received reports from around the country that a scammer, claiming to be from the IRS, tells the victim that the IRS had sent two certified letters in the mail and that they have been returned as undeliverable. Then the caller threatens arrest if the victim does not make a payment through a prepaid debit card. The caller claims that the card is linked to the IRS’s EFTPS payment system. The caller also warns the victim not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the “tax” payment is made.
Payment is not linked to the EFTPS and is totally controlled by the scammers.
EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically using the internet or by phone. This is a free service and does not required the purchase of a prepaid debit card.
The IRS reminds everyone that it will not call and demand immediate payment of taxes, threaten to use local police to arrest you, or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
For more about protecting yourself see the alert at,
Internal Revenue Service:
Tobacco Settlement Scam. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers about online advertisements claiming that consumers can receive “guaranteed” tax-free payments of $2,300 every month – forever. According to the scammers, this is a provision of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The Attorney General’s Office says that this is a scam. Individuals cannot receive payments from the agreement.
The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement is an agreement between the four largest U.S. tobacco companies, 46 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. It settles lawsuits that related to health care costs incurred by the states. While not providing for payments to individuals, some states, including Washington, issued bonds backed by the settlement agreement payments as an investment opportunity.
While claiming the availability of tax-free payments, the advertisements points the reader to an order form to receive information in how to apply for the payments. Consumers must purchase a subscription that has a fee of between $79 to $129. The order form asks consumers for personal information and credit card numbers. The Attorney General’s office warns consumers that once they provide a credit card number, it may be difficult to cancel and obtain a refund.
If you have received these advertisements you may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at http://www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.
Washington State Attorney General’s Office:
Door-To-Door Home Repair Scams. The AARP warns everyone that summer is a good time of year for door-to-door scammers to operate. Often, scammers will knock on your door and tell you that they have just finished some work for your neighbor and that they would be willing to do work for you at a deep discount. He will demand an up-front payment to start work then disappear or do a shoddy job and demand additional payment to finish. One example is someone claiming that they just laid down asphalt for a neighbor and that they have some extra that they could install right away and for cheap.
AARP recommends that you be wary of anyone who,
· Comes to your door and offers to fix a problem.
· Anyone who tries to pressure you to make a quick decision.
· Anyone who asks for payment up front.
In dealing with potential contractors,
· Get a written estimate and compare bids before starting any work.
· Ask for three references and check them.
· Check with the Better Business Bureau (https://www.bbb.org/en/us) for any complaints before you hire a contractor.
For more about protecting yourself from fraud and scams go to,